Espresso: Dr Reddy's D2C play, RBI's take on Big Tech


RBI hints at incoming regulations for Big Tech

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) counted ‘big techs in financial services’ as challengers for banks in its biannual Financial Stability Report (FSR) for June 2021. 

The central bank acknowledged that Big Tech companies hold the promise of supporting financial inclusion and generating lasting efficiency gains, like encouraging banks to be more competitive. However, it pointed to important policy issues that arise.

“Specifically, concerns have intensified around a level playing field with banks, operational risk, too-big-to-fail issues, challenges for antitrust rules, cyber security and data privacy,” RBI noted. 

Big tech presents at least three unique challenges, it added. One, they straddle many different (non-financial) lines of business with sometimes opaque overarching governance structures. Two, they have the potential to become dominant players in financial services. And three, big techs are generally able to overcome limits to scale in financial services provision by exploiting network effects.

L&T Sells Nxt Digital Business To Mindtree

Mindtree completed the acquisition of Larsen & Toubro’s Nxt Digital business on Friday. The Rs 198-crore buyout had been announced in May, and aimed to synergise Nxt Digital’s core business with Mindtree’s Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities.

Engineering and construction company L&T has a 61% stake in Mindtree. The parent company had founded Nxt Digital to develop IoT applications, and make the company’s operations data-driven by digitising its factories and other assets.

UPI touches new high in June 2021

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), operated by the National Payments Corporation of India, has touched new highs, pointing to greater digital adoption during the pandemic.

Compared to the earlier life-high of March 2021, when Rs 5.04 lakh-crore worth of money moved through 2.73 billion transactions, June saw an absolute increase of Rs 42,486.7 crore (+8.4 percent) and 75.8 million transactions (+2.8 percent).

Since July 2017, the number of monthly transactions has jumped over 241 times from 11.63 million to more than 2.8 billion transactions in June 2021. 

The value of transactions has also jumped over 160 times in these 48 months—from Rs 3,411 crore in July 2017 to more than Rs 5.47 lakh-crore. In compounded annual growth rate terms, the volume and value have recorded stupendous 294.4 percent and 255.9 percent CAGR growth in the past four years.

DRL’s D2C play in America

India is replete with more than 600 Direct to Consumer (D2C) stories, but did you know about Dr Reddy’s Laboratories D2C offering in the US?

DRL’s HealthCareAisle store brand hit a key milestone in January 2021, achieving $100,000 of sales in a week, according to its annual report released yesterday. The company had trademarked HealthCareAisle in 2019 to sell a diverse line of over-the-counter medicines.

Dr Reddy's began selling its over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine patches Habitrol on Amazon in 2016, as an experiment. Shortly after, it added back pain–reliever Doan's to check how it fares online. It began building its D2C brand under Lindsay Proffitt, and HealthCareAisle was born soon after.

“At the current growth rate, the Amazon direct-to-consumer channel is now a key growth driver for the OTC business, and the team plans to launch products on Amazon first and then to other channels,” the company said in its annual report.

HCL Tech appoints country head for Spain and Portugal

HCL Technologies has appointed Adolfo Calviño Asensio as country head of Spain and Portugal to accelerate business in the region across key industry verticals.

Asensio has more than 25 years of industry experience, and joins HCL from Accenture, where he was part of the team responsible for growing its business in Spain. 

HCL Technologies has been investing in leaders across markets. In June, it appointed country sales heads to drive and accelerate HCL’s presence in Asia—Joonho Moon (South Korea), Terry Tai (Taiwan) and Nguyen Ha Tuan (Vietnam).

Birlasoft’s go-to-market strategy working

Mid-sized IT firm Birlasoft recorded deal wins worth $888 million in 2020-21, according to its annual report released yesterday. The outcome was attributed to the merger of KPIT with Birlasoft in 2018.

“Almost 97 percent of the total deal-wins in FY 2021 came from existing customers, which reflects the strong cross-sell the company has been focused on since the merger,” the company stated.

It closed 2020-21 with $480 million in revenue, with manufacturing and life sciences being the main contributors at 41 percent and 26 percent. The US is the largest market for Birlasoft, contributing 77 percent to revenue.

Edited by Kunal Talgeri


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